The Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Commission Head of Operations, Nontokozo Nokhwali-Mboyi, says 134 complaints have already been received since the body was established earlier this year.
Nokhwali-Mboyi said while the B-BBEE Commission was still in the process of securing office space, it has hit the ground running with its 14 staff members.
She said this when the commission briefed the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry on the progress report on the establishment of the B-BBEE Commission at the National Assembly today.
“We have received a lot of complaints and the number that we have received until September 2016 is 134. In terms of the number of complaints that we received, of the 134 cases, 84% – which is 112 – relates to fronting.
“I think the Commissioner already mentioned that fronting is a corrupt activity. So obviously we can see that maybe there are people that do not sleep at night trying all means to circumvent the BBBEE legislation.
“With the investigations that are currently underway, we are certain that those culprits will be brought to book,” she said.
Nokhwali-Mboyi said 12 complaints related to the conduct of verification agencies or professionals.
“The second complaints pertain to the conduct of the verification practitioners who issue B-BBEE certificates without following the necessary processes.
“For instance, one of the requirements is that they should conduct interviews. But then the allegation is that those interviews are never conducted,” she said.
A total of 25% of the complaints came from the transport sector, 15% from mining and 9% from the construction industry.
Twenty two letters have been issued to verification professionals and accounting officers regarding alleged unacceptable practices.
“We also had 120 meetings with our stakeholders, meetings pertaining to advice on B-BBEE transactions, as well as complaints meetings.
“The other activity that we also performed was the assessment of the Black Industrialist applications. As you will recall, the [Department of Trade and Industry] is the custodian of the Black Industrialist programme. So on receipt of those applications, they sent them to us to review them to detect any possible fronting practice.
“We also issued letters to all government departments, accounting officers – Directors-General – on compliance with the B-BBEE Act.”
Nokhwali-Mboyi said the B-BBEE Commission effectively commenced with its operations on 1 April 2016.
On 6 June 2016 Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, issued B-BBEE regulations after a 30-day public consultation period.
The commission then began implementing both its compliance and enforcement strategies simultaneously, which meant that it rolled-out education campaigns and investigations at the same time.